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The term Renaissance, literally means "rebirth" and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. The Renaissance also witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper, printing, the mariner's compass, and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.
One of the greatest of all revolutions was the 16th-century religious revolt known as the Reformation. This stormy, often brutal, conflict separated the Christians of Western Europe into Protestants and Catholics. So far-reaching were the results of the separation that the Reformation has been called a turning point in history. It ushered in the Modern Age because, once the people's religious unity was destroyed, they began to think in terms of their own regional interests. From the diversity of those interests arose new political, social, and economic problems and beliefs.
To understand the natural world and humankind's place in it solely on the basis of reason and without turning to religious belief was the goal of the wide-ranging intellectual movement called the Enlightenment. The movement claimed the allegiance of a majority of thinkers during the 17th and 18th centuries, a period that Thomas Paine called the Age of Reason. At its heart it became a conflict between religion and the inquiring mind that wanted to know and understand through reason based on evidence and proof.
The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology
The ancient view held that spirit was essentially the life of the body, the life-breath, or a kind of life-force which assumed spatial and corporeal form at birth or after conception, and left the dying body again after the final breath. The spirit in itself was considered as a being without extension, and because it existed before taking corporeal form and afterwards as well, it was considered as timeless and hence immortal. From the standpoint of modern, scientific psychology, this conception is of course pure illusion. But as it is not our intention to indulge in “metaphysics”, even of a modern variety, we will examine this time-honoured notion for once in an unprejudiced way and test its empirical justification.
Where do all our good and helpful flashes of intelligence come from? What is the source of our enthusiasms, inspirations, and of our heightened feeling for life? The primitive senses in the depths of his soul the springs of life; he is deeply impressed with the life-dispensing activity of his soul, and he therefore believes in everything that affects it — in magical practices of every kind. That is why, for him, the soul is life itself. He does not imagine that he directs it, but feels himself dependent upon it in every respect.
Originally posted by masqua
Neither posts above address the fact that the soul was recognized as part of the human psyche prior to the birth of Christianity and remains ingrained in our thoughts long after the Age of Materialism began.
Shamanism, the oldest form of spirituality evidenced within the anthropological record, is alive and well today. One could loosely call it a religion, but it is so varied across the globe and throughout the entire history of mankind that one could say it grew spontaneously in every corner of every continent.
The 2000 years of Christianity is less than 1% of the history of our species and yet the IDEA of the spirit (or soul) is an ever-present constant.
Please explain how that could happen?